Eastern Orthodox Church

 

Definition

The Orthodox Church, also officially called the Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church claims to trace its development back through the Byzantine or Roman empire, to the earliest church established by St. Paul and the Apostles. Almost from the very beginning, Christians referred to the Church as the "One, Holy, Catholic [from the Greek καθολική, or universal] and Apostolic Church".

 

The Symbol of Faith – (The Creed)

(1) I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

(2) And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages. Light of Light; True God of True God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made;

(3) Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man.

(4) And He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried.

(5) And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures;

(6) And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father;

(7) And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.

(8) And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets.

(9) In one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

(10) I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sins.

(11) I look for the resurrection of the dead;

(12) And the life of the world to come. Amen.

 

“The Creed, sung during the Divine Liturgy, is one of the most ancient prayers of the Orthodox Church. It was composed, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, by the Fathers of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils (Nicea (325) and Constantinople (381), respectively), at a time when various heretical doctrines attempted to overthrow the true faith in the Trinity. The main reason for the convening of the First Ecumenical Council was the appearance and growing strength of the false teaching of the Alexandrian priest, Arius. The basic theory of the Arians’ false teaching was that the Son of God was created that His existence had a beginning. The Second Ecumenical Council condemned the false teaching of the Pneumatomachi (Adversaries of the Spirit), whose chief representative was Macedonius, Archbishop of Constantinople. The Pneumatomachi called the Holy Spirit the servant and fulfiller of God’s wishes as well as other names that were fitting only for the angels, and they did not recognize Him as a Hypostasis (Person) of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Orthodox Church made a decisive stand to protect the purity of the Orthodox teaching of the faith, setting out the basic saving truths of Christian teaching in the Creed, which is a constant guide for all Orthodox Christians in their spiritual life. The Creed itself is divided into twelve parts, seven of which were formulated at the First Ecumenical Council, the other five at the Second.”

Excerpt taken from "These Truths We Hold – The Holy Orthodox Church: Her Life and Teachings". Compiled and Edited by A Monk of St. Tikhon’s Monastery. Copyright 1986 by the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania 18459.

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